Join Ashley Kennedy for an in-depth discussion in this video What's new in Media Composer in v. 8.5?, part of Avid Media Composer 8 Essential Training.
- [Voiceover] In January 2016, Avid released Media Composer version 8.5. There are some important updates that we're going to review here, and again this movie is mostly for people who are already familiar with Media Composer, and just want to quickly get the most recent updates to the software. If you're brand new to the software, just start with chapter one of this course, and don't worry about missing the what's new content, because I've inserted new movies within the course to cover these updates. And as always, we're only going to cover features applicable to this introductory level essential training course.
For an exhaustive list of new features, you can check out Avid's website. And finally, as with all What's New movies, there are no exercise files for this movie, so just feel free to sit back and watch. First up, Avid redesigned their menus, in a strategy called Menu Simplification. There are quite a lot of differences, but it pretty much all makes good sense. Here is the previous interface with the line up of menus. The menu heading changed a bit, as you can see we have an Output menu and a Special menu, and in 8.5 these are gone, all of the rest of them are still there.
So let me go back over to 8.5 and let's take a look. So instead of Output and Special, we now have two new menus, the Timeline menu and the Composer menu, so everything makes a little more sense categorically now. The new Timeline menu includes commands of timeline based operations, the Composer menu contains commands that deal with operations within the Composer window. In addition, each of the other menus got an overhaul. For example, the Bin menu, now more closely includes items that relate to a Bins configuration.
The Clip menu mostly deals with commands related to selected clips within a Bin, and so on and so forth, alright? There are also quite a few sub menus that group like commands together within an easy to find structure, as you can see here within the File menu. Now while I won't have an opportunity to go over every change here, if you'd like to study the ins and outs of these changes, you can access the 8.5 What's New guide from Avid's website, right here under Menu Simplification, there is a chart showing you the menu item, and then where it was and then where it is now.
As you can see the list is pretty long, there were a lot of changes. But I hope you'll agree that everything is fairly intuitive now. So study that if you'd like to know all of the menu changes, and of course don't forget your handy Help menu, you can always search within here to find anything you need. Next up is just a general change in the way clips look when you move them around in the timeline. Now when you drag clips around, for example with Lift Override Segment mode, you can see that the clips are actually transparent, so that you can have a better idea of all the material in the timeline as you're dragging this around.
I'll undo that, command Z or control Z. And then notice that when you're in Extract Splice Segment Mode, you can see what things look like now. It's as if the clip that you're moving is sort of floating over the structure of the sequence. So this is a lot different than the way things used to look, but I think you'll agree that this is a nice improvement. And I'll undo that. I'm gonna stay in the timeline for this next feature, and that is the new way that you add Tracks. Now before you had to actually physically add them, either by right clicking and choosing new, and then Video or Audio track, or you could do the corresponding shortcuts of command Y or command U, but now all you have to do is drag clips in the timeline.
So for example if I wanted to created another video track, I could drag this clip up, and it automatically creates a V5, and this works no matter how many clips I'm dragging. So let's say for example I wanted to bring this clip on V4, and then I'm going to shift click to select multiple ones, I'll do this one on V3 and this one in V2, I'll drag these up, and because I have three stacked clips selected, I'm able to add three additional tracks. And that's for video or for audio. By the way, the number of audio tracks that you can add got a big upgrade.
It used to be 24 and now it's 64. Now this has been something that a lot of editors have been asking for a long time, so it's a very welcome change in many post production circles. Now let's talk about trimming for a moment. I'm just gonna enter Trim mode here. As I trim, there are some new end of trim indicators. These show you where the trim is going to end, either because you're going to be butting into the boundary of the clip next to it, or because you're simply going to run out of media as you can see here.
As I trim you'll also notice that there are some white tick marks, and I'll zoom in here so you can see those a little bit better. So as I trim you'll see those white tick marks. These do not represent frames, they're just a visual indication of what you're trimming. And this can be particularly useful when you perform slip edits. Let me just get into Slip mode here. So as I'm trimming here you can see my tick marks move, which can be helpful when you're lining something up. You can see my end of trim indicators on the left and right as well. And I wanna mention one more trimming change, with regard to Sync Locks.
When you perform a single roller trim, which I'll do right here, let's get into single roller trim, you'll see that there is a much better visual indication of exactly what's going to happen. You can see here that I have a yellow sync roller, which appears on my selected tracks, and then all of my unselected tracks I have grey sync rollers, and this just makes it easier to see where exactly it's going to be affected by this trim. So as I make this trim you can see exactly what's going on, if I have another track selected, you can see that this now becomes a yellow sync roller.
So you know what's being affected when I perform this trim. Again this is a nice change, because in previous versions, you actually had to wait for the trim to be over in order to see exactly how the sync locks would be maintained. And I'm going to undo that. Next up is just a small bin based change. Let me open up this bin here, and, I think it has quite a few columns of statistics. Before if you wanted to add a custom column, you would have to go to the far right, and then click up here in the header, and then type a new custom column name, and then move that over if you needed to.
Now you can see that you actually can't do that anymore, I'm clicking and no custom column is available, but what you can do is right click and choose Add Custom Column. And if you do that to the far right out here, you can add a column just like before. But the cool thing here is that you can do it wherever you want. So if I want a custom column right next to the name, I'll just right click on name, choose Add Custom Column, and then put it right in the middle of my display. I'm going to close this bin, and I'm going to go over to the effect palate, because this also got a pretty great upgrade.
It's not much easier to find and filter effects, because of the Quick Find field at the top of the window. So all you have to do is type, and it live updates so you can see all of the effects that match the criteria that I put in. So if I was looking for the paint effect, there it is, I don't have to remember the category that it resides in. And you'll also see that we have four categories up here. We have two video categories, filters, and transitions. So filters act on the clip, and transition effects are of course applied to transitions between clips.
And then we have two audio categories as well. Audio track which are audio effects that are applied at the track level, and then audio clip, which are of course audio effects applied at the clip level. Now you have to be careful about what you have selected up here, because if for example I don't realize that I'm on audio clip and I type in paint, you can see that doesn't work, because it's looking in the audio clip category. So you do have to at least click on the correct category up here before typing in your criteria. Next up, Frame Flex also got a nice change.
I'm going to open up my bin here, and I'm going to right click on this clip and go to source settings. Up here under Frame Flex I can of course choose exactly what part of the frame that I am looking at, just as always, but now I have the ability to change the Z rotation. So if I wanted to rotate this a little bit, you can see exactly what's occurring here, and so if I wanted to straighten this out and reposition the image, I certainly could. So I'll apply that, and Okay. And now when I load this in the source monitor, I've rotated my clip.
Next up just a few changes in the audio mixer. So I'm going to go up to Tools and Audio Mixer, and I'm just going to select my timeline so that we have a little bit more to look at here. I now have disclosure triangles which allow me to either show or collapse certain areas of the audio mixer. For example if you don't need an area, you can collapse it to give yourself more real estate for the rest. You can also select exactly which tracks that you want displayed with the audio mixer by choosing them from this list right here.
So remember we got the upgrade that there are now 64 possible audio tracks for the audio mixer, so although we only have five here, that can be really useful if you have a lot of tracks. So for example I'll just turn off my A4 and A5 and A3. You can see that now I'm just looking at A1, A2, and Master. These are also sortable. So if I enable a five and I click up here, it's going to sort them like so. I can also sort them by track number, or if I have labels here, I can sort them by that as well.
And I'll reneable and resort, and everything's back to normal there. So a lot of nice changes here in the audio mixer that allow you to look at exactly what you want. Finally just a quick little extra interface change, you can change the color of your timeline or project window if you want. You just go to Settings and then to Interface, and then here use Custom Timeline Background, and use Custom Project Background, so I'll just do the project background to show you. So just click in this color well, and you can choose another color if you like, and apply, and you can see that the change was made there.
I'm going to go back to grey for now though. And you also have the ability to set your project font and font size as well as your bin font and font size. Okay so keep that in mind if you like to change the way your fonts look. Alright, so those are a few of the highlights of the Media Composer 8.5 release. There are others that don't fit within the context of an essential training, so again if you want to read about every single change, check out the 8.5 What's New document on Avid's website.
Note: This Avid Media Composer v. 8 Essential Training only addresses software updates up to v. 8.5. if you are using Media Composer v. 8.6 or later, please access the following courses instead:
Media Composer 8.7 Essential Training: 101
Media Composer 8.7 Essential Training: 110
- Setting up the editing environment
- Importing media
- Building a rough cut with basic editing and trimming techniques
- Navigation and customization techniques
- Editing audio
- Adding effects
- Multicam editing
- Performing color correction
- Creating titles with Avid Marquee and NewBlue Titler Pro
- Managing media
- Exporting your project
- Troubleshooting in Avid Media Composer
Skill Level Beginner
Q: This course was updated on 12/12/2014. What changed?
A: We added and revised tutorials to cover the changes to Avid Media Composer in v8.2 and v8.3. Watch the "What's new" movies for an overview of the updates.
Q: This course was updated on 8/24/2015. What changed?
A: Avid released the 8.4 version of Media Composer in June 2015. We added two new movies to this course to describe the update and covering working with high-resolution files in the newest version of the software.
Q: This course was updated on 02/25/2016. What changed?
A: We added five tutorials covering the Avid Media Composer 8.5 update, released in January 2016.